UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND
Research Field: Immunology
A/Professor Sumaira Hasnain graduated with her PhD in December 2010 from The
University of Manchester. She is currently an Associate Professor at the Mater Research
Institute-University of Queensland with a team of 9 researchers.
Imbalance of protein production and stress is a feature of many common inflammatory
diseases, like Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Obesity and Diabetes, Viral infections and Fatty
Liver Disease. A/Prof Hasnain was the first globally to demonstrate that factors released by
our immune cells can alter protein production during inflammatory diseases.
Her work has focussed on characterising these immune factors and manipulate them
therapeutically. She holds a patent for targeted immunotherapy in metabolic disease which
has led to the formation of a UQ spin-off company, Jetra Therapeutics and venture capitalist
funding. She has recently expanded her work to explore the effects of these immune factors
in viral infection, in particular with a focus on Respiratory Syncytial Virus. By 2 years of age,
more than 80% of children have been infected at least once, and half of these children have
had Respiratory Syncytial Virus twice. Her recent research is leading to the discovery of new
therapies for viral infection.